Car Key Battery Failure Problem

‘Why can’t I just change my car key battery?’

Welcome to another blog post, today we’re looking at rechargeable car keys.

This problem is getting worse. When your car key buttons stop working, you just want to change the battery. We get it.

Unfortunately you can’t, at least not easily. There are several type of keys on the market that have a rechargeable battery inside. These include the following.

Land Rover Keys

Ford Keys

BMW Mini

Why have a rechargeable key battery?

We’re not sure. Maybe someone in an office had the great idea. By making the battery rechargeable, it would never need to be changed. Unfortunately, instead of paying £10 for a new key battery, you now face the prospect of paying £200-£300 for a new key.

Bad car key design.

If the battery is going to live forever, it needs looking after, protecting from the elements.

In most cases the rechargeable battery is held on to the circuit board by two thin metal legs.

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If you’re going to break open the case, then you may want to treat yourself to a new one, giving it a fresh new look.

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With legs this thin, is it any wonder that they break? The video below shows the problem.


The new Ford keys are a similar design to this cheap, copy Freelander key. These are common on eBay and are really poor quality.

Fortunately Land Rover do a better job with their genuine key. The battery is held in a protective cradle. However, even with this cradle, after 6-7 years, one of the thin legs breaks, and the contact becomes intermittent. When this happens, it will not charge up correctly.

Ford don’t bother supporting the key battery at all, just as shown above. It sits in fresh air, without the cradle that Land Rover provide. Once it’s dropped a few times, the legs start to weaken and eventually they break.

We’ve seen Ford Transit and Ford Custom keys that need a new batteries after just three years!

Can the key battery be changed?

Like any problem in the motor trade, there’s a way to change these batteries. A service that the dealers cannot provide.

Rechargeable key battery replacement.

We’ve made several YouTube videos showing the best technique for replacing rechargeable car key batteries. Find the links below.


We see a lot of these keys that get ruined due to poor technique. When removing the old battery, it’s very easy to damage the delicate electronic circuit. We’ve done it ourselves in the early days of figuring out the best method.

Top 3 Tips

  • To remove the battery the solder needs to be really hot. Make sure the solder is completely molten before trying to pull the leg from the circuit board.
  • Use ‘solder mop’ to remove as much as the excess solder as possible.
  • Use plenty of ventilation, the fumes aren’t very nice.

Need some help?  Here are our videos that show how we change these

We hope these videos help, if you have any questions, just let us know.

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